Book News: September 29th, 2004

This report from the Public Accounts Committee examines the progress of the pilot programme launched in 1999 to give local communities a much greater influence in the way in which funds are used to achieve neighbourhood renewal. Unlike previous regeneration programmes where monies were paid to central and local government bodies to deliver regeneration, in this programme the monies have been given directly to neighbourhoods for them to manage through a Board made up of local representatives. This allows the communities to purchase services to meet their regeneration needs in accordance with their priorities. The approach is being tested in 39 neighbourhoods across the country and is expected to cost some £2 billion over 10 years.The committee found that the programme was one of more than fifty different initiatives with separate funding streams and they called for a streamlining. Although the programme is still at a relatively early stage there are examples of effective neighbourhood renewal arising from this new approach. But equally, some tensions have developed between some New Deal for Community partnerships, their communities and local authorities that need to be addressed if further progress is to be ensured.

The report is published by the Public Account Committee and is available at: